Studying Spanish has been one of the most rewarding pursuits during my time at OU. My teachers have been amazing! Guillermo Romero taught me the beauty of the Colombian accent, and Luvia Morales-Rodriguez exposed me to the intricacies of Mexican Spanish. Though these courses I have gained an appreciation not only for the Spanish language but a greater desire to understand and experience Hispanic Culture. Last fall, I celebrated my first El Dia de los Muertos with my classmates as we visited the display set up in Kaufman Hall.
I didn’t know a room could be so transformed when I walked in to the dedicated space in Kaufman. I loved getting to see the festive colors and intricate designs of the papel picado. and the delicate sugar skulls. Profesora Morales shared pan de dulce and champurrado (Sweet bread and Mexican hot chocolate) with us as she shared the significance of the day.
El Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead, is a latin american celebration of loved ones who have passed on from this life. Rather than dwelling in their death, it is a remembrance of their lives and the love that still exists for them. In addition, El Dia de los Muertos is a time to reflect on how death is a “great leveler.” This lesson shows us that our focus should be on time well spent rather than gathering more and more material possessions. There are many traditions surrounding the celebration, such as the setting up altars of remembrance with items such as marigolds, sugar skulls, and favorite foods to honor the deceased, dressing up in costume, and generally spending time with loved ones.